What is an Offset Smoker?

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May 23, 2022

What is an Offset Smoker?

If you are fond of smoking or barbecuing meat, nothing beats the results of an offset smoker. Whether a weekly barbecue in your backyard for neighbors or friends or a high stake cooking competition, you need an offset smoker (check out these recommended offset smokers) to improve and show off your cooking prowess.

However, buying an offset smoker is an investment, and it makes sense first to understand how it works and what sets it apart from the conventional smokers and grills out there. You may wonder why to get one when you can cook meat perfectly on your regular grill. Continue reading this article to learn about offset smokers, what they are, how they are built, what kinds of output you can expect when you use them, and what sets them apart from conventional pellet smokers or grills.

Why use an offset smoker

When you use a conventional smoker, the food is cooked quickly. The same is the case with the classic grills you see people use in the outdoors. The meat cooks quickly; as a result of which, the meat is not very moist from the inside, and flavors are not enriched either.

On the other hand, when you incorporate the process of slow cooking while smoking meat, the smoke penetrates the meat and makes it flavorful and moist from the inside. The juices are retained inside the meat, and the result is juicy, tender, and mouthwatering meat that can be the highlight of any meal or party.

How are they built

The main feature of the offset smoker is the slow and uniform cooking process. Let’s understand how this is achieved. A typical offset smoker has a horizontal design configuration with a cooking chamber in the middle, a firebox on one side, and an exhaust chimney on the other end.

The cooking chamber has multiple racks generally, so you can out large quantities of meat at one time. Fuel supplements like wood or charcoal are used inside the firebox to produce smoke, which makes its way into the cooking chamber. Inside the cooking chamber, the heat from the smoke enwraps the meat from all sides to ensure uniform cooking so that the meat is soft and tender from the inside and just the right kind of crisp in some parts.

You can rotate the meat during the cooking process to move the meat closer to the firebox end, away from the chimney, and vice versa. Rotation is important if the cooking chamber is big in size.

Air inflow is regulated through dampeners that ensure sufficient oxygen inflow in the chamber. It helps bring down the temperature in case it is elevated more than required.

Similarly, the exhaust vents are intended to let extra smoke out from the chambers. The excess smoke makes its way through the vents into the chimney and is released out. This helps ensure that the temperature inside the chamber stays at an optimum level and the cooked meat is flavorful and cooked evenly from all sides.

An innovation in this regard is the Reverse Flow offset smoker. It is designed to facilitate bidirectional heat flow to cook the meat uniformly.